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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

 10:43 PM 

Doyle says Wisconsin will decide Dem nominee

Gov. Jim Doyle hailed Barack Obama's state campaign as one of the greatest in state history after today's win, adding that Wisconsin would be the victory to catapult the Illinois senator to the party's nomination.

"It amazes me that it was only one week ago that we were all gathered in the Kohl Center, kicking off in one week what has been one of the great campaigns in the history of the state of Wisconsin," Doyle proclaimed in a speech at the Obama campaign's primary party in downtown Madison. "I believe, when this is all written, that we'll be the state that decided who the next Democratic nominee will be, and who the next president of the United States will be: Barack Obama."

Doyle thanked the Obama campaign for not only running an effective campaign, but for cooperating with state and local political leaders and activists. While national campaigns generally have spats in local elections, Doyle said, "We did not have one of those with the Barack Obama campaign."

"This is a candidate who did not take us for granted," Doyle said in thanking Obama. "He came to Wisconsin and spent five days of the last seven days in this state ... this was a campaign that came through this state and inspired so many people."

Speaking with reporters after his speech, Doyle said Obama's broad victory meant Hillary Clinton was in trouble.

"I think it's very hard for her to go on; I know she will," Doyle said. "When these two candidates get engaged with one another and the campaign is on, state after state after state Barack Obama wins."

Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz introduced Doyle at the celebration and projected that the state Assembly would flip to the Democrats with Obama at the top of the Democratic ticket. He also noted that Rep. Spencer Black told him that the votes on the UW-Madison campus were "something like 10-to-1 for Obama."

"For a complete term and a little bit more, Jim Doyle was the only person standing between us and some really right-wing policies coming out of the Wisconsin Legislature," Cieslewicz said. "Imagine what Jim Doyle can do when he's got a Democratic majority in both houses. Barack Obama can get that for us."

Listen to Doyle's speech

Listen to Doyle talking with reporters

Hear Mayor Cieslewicz's introduction

-- By Andy Szal

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